18 Ways to Use Table Salt, Your Lunchtime Standby

published Dec 29, 2019
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Yes, you can get dedicated cleaners and problem-solvers for each task in your home, from scrubbing cast iron to removing red wine stains. But there’s plenty of value—and lots of money saved—by bringing it back to the (affordable) basics. That table salt in your cabinet has more uses than just revving up your lunch. Here, 18 smart ways to put it to work.

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1. Clean your tub

To dissolve and scrub away soap scum and other gunk, cut a grapefruit in half sprinkle the top liberally with salt.

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2. Get red wine out of your carpet

If you’ve spilled red wine on your carpet, act quick. While it’s still wet, pour table salt liberally on the affected area so the salt can help pull wine out of your carpet’s fibers; once it’s stopped absorbing liquid, vacuum it up. 

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3. Scrub cast iron pans

Salt is the perfect natural substance to clean cast iron. Pour a handful of salt (coarse Kosher salt works best) into the pan and add a bit of water to form a paste. Then, rub it around with a kitchen towel. This will loosen up anything sticking to the bottom. Rinse and dry.

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4. Put out a (small) grease fire

If your fried chicken goes up in flames, most definitely do not pour water onto the pan. In a pinch—and if the fire is small—salt can help smother the flames. (Note, though, that the best way to fight a fire is with a fire extinguisher.) 

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5. Get rid of a fishy smell

If your hands smell like fish after eating or cooking, Morton Salt offers a trick: dipping a lemon wedge in salt and rubbing it all over your hands. Then, of course, rinse the mixture off with water. 

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6. Create an all-natural air freshener

Windsor Salt recommends removing all of the pulp out of an orange and sprinkling salt into the peel. This releases an all-natural, fresh scent into your home. 

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7. Remove stains from a glass coffee pot

Another Morton Salt trick: adding 4 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of crushed ice, and 1 tablespoon of water into your glass coffee pot and then swirling it all around in order to remove stains. After, rinse it clean with water. Make sure your coffee pot is at room temperature before cleaning.

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8. Remove blood stains

Salt and cold water is an effective way to scrub blood out of fabric.

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9. Clean your iron

Irons need to be cleaned, too. You can do so by sprinkling salt on a piece of paper and then running your iron over it. Once you’re done and your iron cools off, wipe it down with a cloth to get rid of any residue.

10. Wipe up egg spills

It may sound odd, but salt can help you clean up a spilled egg—an otherwise very slimy experience. Sprinkling salt on the egg can make it easier to pick up using a paper towel.

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11. Clean wood cutting boards

Use half a lemon and some salt to scrub wood cutting boards. Let sit for a few minutes, scrape off the gunk, then rinse.

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12. De-grime a flower vase

Fill a vase with warm water and 1/3 cup of salt, and let sit for five minutes. Cover the top, swirl the water, and rinse clean. Another option: Mix 1/2 tablespoon of salt with white vinegar to make a paste, then use that to scrub the inside of the vase. 

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13. Shine up silver

A mix of baking soda, salt, vinegar, and boiling water will help restore tarnished silver back to its original shine. 

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14. De-bubble a sudsy dishwasher

Accidentally put dish soap in the dishwasher instead of dishwasher detergent? After removing as many suds as possible and running a rinse cycle, run your dishwasher with a cup of vinegar and a few tablespoons of salt to help clear out any remaining soapy residue.

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15. Remove sweat stains

Dissolve four tablespoons of salt in one quart of hot water, then dip a sponge in the solution to dab stains away. 

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16. Remove rust

Use a lemon and salt to scrub away light rust on kitchen knives and other utensils.

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17. De-ice, in a pinch

Rock salt and table salt are the same chemical (sodium chloride)—so if your front steps are icy and you don’t have any ice melt at home, table salt can help. Pour it out, then shovel melted ice away to make for safer stepping. 

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18. Or quickly chill wine, in a pinch

Place your bottle in a tall bucket, and alternate layers of ice and salt all the way to the top. The salt lowers water’s freezing point, so your ice can get colder (and your wine can, too). After 10-12 minutes, remove your wine and serve.